This is my first post on these forums, and I thought this was an appropriate way to start off, as this is a question that I have recently been struggling with. I spend a lot of time on various forums, primarily 3D modeling, design, and architecture ones, and I don't think I have ever seen a subforum designated strictly to the discussion of whether someone is, or is not, a member of what the forum is set up to discuss. Surprising, but fun, too, when you think about it. So, I'd like to offer myself as an example and I am interested to hear your thoughts.
I have been a builder my entire adult life. I have remodeled derelict structures from the ground up; I have built ridiculous and embarrassing mcmansions; I have worked with, and put together, both round and rectilinear sticks of wood (using both steel and all wood joinery); I have been designing residential structures for 10 years (but not a schooled architect); I am an expert computer 3D modeler (both architectural and organic) and artist. I create HD presentation animations, full construction blueprints, and visualization renderings. I enjoy philosophical discussions concerning construction methodology and design theory. And sometimes, I can drink beer and ramble on for hours.
I have always struggled with how I define myself. Am I a Jack of all Trades, master of none (though pretty darn good at a lot)? Am I just a guy who helps people realize their dreams; a facilitator, if you will? Am I "just" an artist?
At some level, can I consider myself a timberframer? Is Timberframer just another tag I can add to my life byline, or there something more encompassing about being a Timberframer that makes other tags redundant?
Do the tools I choose to use play a role? I have no compunction about using whatever tool makes me more efficient. A construction master instead of a framing square? A 3D computer model instead of a piece of paper and a pencil? A grinder instead of a rabbet plane? A sawzall instead of a hand saw? All fine by me; though I do catch a bunch of grief for the grinder
Or is it the design sensibilities brought to bear, or the techniques used that separates a Timberframer from a carpenter/builder? Or is it something more ephemeral; more nebulous? Is there anything that automatically precludes one from being a timberframer? What is the apple from which I should not bite if I want to consider myself a timberframer?
As this subforum is for philosophical musings, I thought it would be fun to hear people's opinions about this. What do I tell a prospective client, that I am a Timberframer who designs, or am I a designer who timberframes.
Or should I just shut up and get to work this lovely Monday afternoon? I do have to figure out how to work a reciprocating floor into the timberframe I am designing right now, and I don't have enough timbers to do what I really want with the space, so now I am struggling with whether I can support a reciprocating timber core with a joist system that doesn't require a ton of interior posts. Maybe I can suspend part of it with steel cables, though does that still count as being reciprocating if I pull all of the load out of it?
*sigh* back to work...